How do you feel when you’re getting up in the morning? Are you energized and feeling ready for a great day? Or do you roll out of bed feeling grumpy and miserable and like you’re totally not up for anything? If getting out of your bed and starting your day is really hard for you and you’re looking for some tips to make your morning less dreadful – especially when you’re a night person – then this is for you.
This is the second part of my “Getting up for night owls”-series. If you’re interested in part one, go here.
Part 2: Making mornings better
Getting out of bed was a struggle for me for a very long time. I was not able to get up when I should have – even though I used up to three different alarm clocks at one time. Still, I needed at least half an hour to roll out of bed. People just turning off their alarm clock and getting out of bed like it was nothing were a big mystery to me.
At one point I realized that when my alarm rang and I woke up, the first thing I thought was “Noooo…” I felt that this was awful – starting your day with a big no, rejecting it even though it’s a wonderful present given to me. I wanted to start my day with a “Yes”.
So, I tried to find out what would make my morning better and what would help me go from “Noooo…” to a more positive feeling. And of course I tried to find out what I could do to get out of bed on time.
1. Get rid of horrid alarm clocks
This is one of the first things I changed. Most alarm clocks make an awfully loud and disturbing sound. Of course being thrown out of sleep by obnoxious beeping does not make you happy. I found out that I’m very sensitive to noise in the morning. So I stopped using beeping and noisy alarm clocks.
I wanted to be woken by music. So I tried lots of different songs. For me, it has to be a song that is starting very slowly and is not too strenuous to listen to. Instrumentals are nice, or singers with soft voices.
But most of all I need a song I connect with a very positive and motivating feeling. I used the theme from Pride & Prejudice for a long time because this song gave me the feeling of a wonderful promising morning. So, don’t just take your favourite song (you might grow to not like it so much anymore when it’s your alarm sound), take the song that you connect with motivation.
2. Let in the lights
Your body will recognize time to wake up when it’s lightening up outside. But I cannot sleep without my blackout curtains and I don’t have a high-tech home that will automatically open them in the morning.
So I decided to try a light alarm that simulates sunrise. Mine was quite expensive but it really works for me. I’m very smoothly woken up and I’m even awake before my music starts to play.
Although, this has not always been the case. I haven’t woken up from it in the beginning. For me it only works if I’m getting enough sleep. But still, this step has made waking up so much better for me.
3. Get warm
This might be something people living in moderate and colder climates know very well: It’s hard to get out of your bed because it’s just so nice and warm under your blanket while it’s frosty cold in your room. The solution to this is very easy: Just put a warm sweater and warm socks, your scarf or whatever else you need to get warm right next to your bed so you can access it from there. Or you can just wrap your blanket around you and get up with it. Who’s going to judge you?
4. Get something to drink
This is probably something you might have heard in several other blogs and videos on morning routines. It’s suggested to drink water after getting up to get rehydrated after the night.
But getting something to drink first thing in the morning is not only healthy it also has the effect of creating a habit that tells your body that it’s time to get active. Sometimes I’m getting out of bed and feeling really tired but after my glass of water I instantly feel better. To me drinking a glass of water also has psychological value.
Water is not your thing? Try tea.
Moving your body will help you to liven up your blood circulation. But don’t fret, this does not mean a 20 minute boot camp work-out. I tried to make some heavier exercises but it just didn’t feel right for me. So now I’m only doing some yoga related stretches to wake up my back muscles. It takes about three minutes that’s it. Even three short minutes is enough.
6. Do something for yourself
I tried this with ten minutes of meditation and writing in the morning. I got up earlier to have time to do something purely for myself that makes me happy. To know that there’s something that’s worthwhile waiting for me makes getting up easier for me.
But it also makes my whole day better. I can deal better with all the things I have to do in a day when I’ve already had half an hour to myself that was filled with things I wanted to do. It makes all the difference in a day.
I feel far too many people are neglecting breakfast saying that they’re not hungry. This is something I just cannot understand because I’m really hungry in the morning and if I don’t get anything to eat I might get very cranky and then get dizzy. But really, all those health experts can’t be wrong when they’re telling you to get a good breakfast. Maybe you just have to try it out. Get a good breakfast and enjoy the extra energy!
Make it your morning – even if you’re a night-owl
Thinking back on what made my mornings awful in the past, there’s one other thing I need to address: the feeling that morning is not your time of the day – that it’s somehow wrong to be up so early. It’s this sublime “What am I doing up already? This is too early! I won’t even know what to do with all this unexpected time before noon!” (last statement only applies to days off)
This might even have a good reason, because your body is used to a late bed time and will want to pace itself to still have some energy left then. It’s even scientifically proven that night owls have more stamina throughout the day. We start slowly but perform better throughout long hours.
So maybe you must accept that mornings are not your most productive or energetic time of the day. But you could still feel good about them and make them “your” time. I think the secret to this is to do something that is important to you after getting up. If you are able to build a strong habit of filling your morning with worthwhile activities, your brain will understand that “morning” is a real time that can be used and leveraged. Remember our good friend Goethe when he said: “Only what we use is really ours.” So, use your morning, and make it yours!
Those were my tips on good mornings acquired from personal experience and a fair amount of trial and error. Not everything I initially tried out worked well for me. And I changed the order of my habits several times. I suggest trying all sorts of good tips, but in the end, let your gut decide. If something does not feel right, don’t do it. It’s your morning. You decide. Make it wonderful!
In case you want to try it, this was my little step-by-step guide. You want to know more or you have a specific question? Just ask me in the comments.